A leading global supplier of financial software with 700 staff, offices in ten countries and annual sales of around $125 million wanted its many IT specialists to raise their game when pitching to clients. There was no doubt about their mastery of computer programming, but they needed to be able to connect on a human level with decision-makers who were less technically minded. They tended to rely too heavily on their subject knowledge, leaving lay people floundering or bored, and they were sometimes flummoxed by questions that fell outside their area of expertise.
The company recognised that content is not always king - that clients need to be engaged, not merely informed, and that ‘soft’ communication skills can make a difference that will ultimately show in the bottom line. To the client, the person making the pitch is the bearer of the brand; and if the client isn’t impressed, his or her perception of the brand will be damaged.
VOX was asked to work with groups of IT specialists over several sessions and help them discover a more compelling way of communicating - one that would enable them to interact more successfully with clients and increase the chances of their ideas and proposals gaining traction.
The course that was tailor-made for the company was aimed at turning lacklustre or average presenters into outstanding ones who were adept at winning hearts, minds and business.
VOX’s intensive coaching enabled them to:
- Recognise their own personality traits
- Believe they could communicate in far more powerful ways
- Relish the prospect of really engaging audiences
- Refine their overall communication style
- Develop specific practical skills that would increase their impact
Feedback from the participants was 100 per cent positive. The group training and individual feedback they received left them feeling more confident about pitching and keen to apply the straightforward communication techniques they had discovered and rehearsed.
The company was delighted with the effect of the coaching and felt it had given the firm a sharper edge in a highly competitive market. Now it had IT teams that were not only in command of the relevant information but also able to express it powerfully and to forge connections with professionals from disciplines other than their own. They were proper brand ambassadors.